A total of 578 participants out of 584 were included in the study giving response rate of 98.97%. The participant’s age were between the range of 17 and 38 years with mean age (± SD) of 20.45 ±1.79 and the highest number between 20 and 24 years. More than half (61.8%) of the participants come from rural area and more than three quarter were single by marital status. Almost all (90.5%) participants were orthodox by religion. Regarding to the field of study 36% were from Business and Economics College and 39.4% from Natural and Computational Science. Nearly half (46%) were from first year students. The main sources of information used by the participants were internet in 36.5% and radio and TV in 21.9%.
Among the participants, 84(14.5%) had sexual intercourse before the study with the mean age of the first sexual debut 18.21±2.8 years. Of the participants who have started sexual intercourse, 77(91.7%) had one partner and 61.9% did not used condom during their sexual intercourse. Among the sexually active participants 15(17.9%) had history of pregnancy. Moreover, 453(81.2%) of the participants had heard about STIs and 28(5%) had history of STI. Eight (1.4%) of participants had family death from cancer.
Knowledge about Cervical cancer
Two hundred thirty two (40.5%) of the study participants had heard of cervical cancer. Of those who had heard, 134(58%) had heard from mass media followed by 44(19.0%) from health institutions. About 448(79.4%), 348 (61.5%) and 379(67.1%) of the participants did not knew the etiology, mode of transmission and the symptoms of cervical cancer respectively but only 66(11.7%) and 163(28.8%) of the participants knew as cervical cancer is caused by HPV and transmitted by sexual intercourse respectively. Similarly, only 172(30.4%) and 74(13.1%) of the participants knew multiple partners and early sexual debut as risk factor of cervical cancer respectively. Furthermore, 215(38.1%), 117(20.7%) and 110(19.5%) of the participants knew screening, vaccination and avoiding having many partners as prevention methods of cervical cancer. However, 213(37.7%) and 89(16%) of the participants did not knew any risk factors and prevention methods of cervical cancer respectively. Generally, 195(35.6%) of the participants had good knowledge towards cervical cancer.
Factors associated with knowledge of cervical cancer
All sociodemographic characteristics, reproductive history and sources of information were assessed for the presence of association with knowledge of cervical cancer. Age, College, marital status, year of study, use of TV, use of radio and TV, starting sexual intercourse, information on STI and history of STI were shown an association in bivariate analysis. But after adjusting for confounding at multivariable analysis, using radio and TV as a source of information and information on STI were the predictor factors that remained significantly associated with knowledge of cervical cancer. Participants who were using radio and TV as source of information were almost 2 times more likely to have good knowledge on cervical cancer as compare to those who did not use radio and TV[AOR 1.914(95% CI 1.220, 3.002)]. Moreover, participants who have heard about STI were also 3 times more likely to have good knowledge than their counter parts [AOR 3.017 (95% CI 1.658, 5.492)] (Table 3).
Perception towards cervical cancer and screening
Students’ perception about cervical cancer and its screening was assessed using the perception pillars of health belief model. Accordingly, 185 (33.2%) of the participants were believed that the chance of acquiring cervical cancer is high and 474 (85%) of the participants perceived as cervical cancer is a sever disease while 369 (65.2%) believed as cervical cancer is curable disease. despite three quarter (74.5%) of the participants believed that cervical screening can prevent cervical cancer only 5(0.9%) were screened for cervical cancer. The main reasons cited for not screening were lack of information in 276(55.6%) and fear not to be infected in 96(19.4%) respectively.
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